on January 19, 2012
If I could give this less than 1 star, I would. It is an expensive wifi odbii device that establishes a wifi connection 5% of the time. PLX's support forum is full of people complaining that the wifi keeps dropping for extended periods of time, but PLX's response is always to blame the car, the ODBII pins, the settings, or the iPhone/iPod/iPad. The real problem is the Kiwi wifi connection. It just does not work OR it is easily interrupted by other signals. None of their support responses resolve the connection drops between my iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad 2. I've tried it all - changed the network settings to their standard, plugged in and started the Kiwi and iPod only after the engine is already on, did the airplane mode suckgestion, kicked the car, threw the Kiwi, and etc etc etc. At best it connects for 1 minute, shows 5 seconds worth of data, then drops the wifi for the next 30 minutes. Resetting the phone and the kiwi while driving is a car wreck waiting to happen. I can not recommend the Kiwi to anyone at all. I'm going back to a wired connection and will auction off this piece of junk at a sure loss. You've been warned.
on December 21, 2010
PLX has developed a nifty device... use it with an iPhone and Rev, DashCommand, FuzzyCar, SpeedPort, or PLX Logger to extract data out of the car. The PLX kiwi device plugs into the ODBII port (standard in any car built since 1996) and is powered by it. The kiwi then transmits its data to your smartphone - where one of the software packages mentioned above goes about its business to offer you insights such as Mass Air Flow, speed, acceleration, etc. Thus, the PLX Kiwi has to be understood as a hardware gateway to your cars ODBII bus, not as a complete solution - you still have to buy the iPhone application to make it all work.
So, there is no guarantee that the solution will work since none of the vendors have published a comprehensive list of compatible cars and to what extent the car gives up the goods. ODBII bus access does not mean that the cars' CPU will actively share the data you're after - it may, it may not. For example, the developers of Rev (a $40 app) recommend you download the free version of the application to see if your car is compatible and to what extent before downloading the full version of the program. But that still leaves you with the PLX device.
Anyhow, the biggest beneficiaries of the PLX Kiwi and the version with the iFMD datalogging system are hard-core nerds who want to know if the latest addition to their car actually improved the performance of the engine, etc. That you can configure the screens on some of these programs to show data levels, analog gauges, etc. is also nifty for those who need that kind of functionality. But again, you are dependent on the PLX to be able to pass on that data and on your software package of choice to process it. There are no wires to snake through the car, and the small size of the Kiwi and the attached cable makes it relatively easy to place somewhere unobtrusive. So, the target audience for this device are the folk who need to have 'always-on' communications with their car as they're driving.
Buying the PLX just to read/reset fault codes is a bit of a waste, there are much less expensive solutions for that kind of problem. A cheap ODBII scanner can be had for less than $50 - if you don't avail yourself to the local autozone or other retailer offering free scans. More sophisticated solutions (where you can get into ECU programming, etc.) typically involve hooking up a laptop to the ODBII port (via a USB cable) and the hardware/software package goes to work. Some of these solutions are very sophisticated and along the same price point as the PLX and hence a better choice for fault-code issues and deeper stuff (see Durametric for Porsche, for example). But, unlike the PLX, you tend to only get support for one manufacturer (and perhaps one model) at a time. So if you want to monitor multiple vehicles, it can add up in a hurry!
Anyhow, I bought my PLX kit from PLX directly and regret that choice. Paying top dollar for shipping overnight only to discover that the USPS shipping option is shipped on the following day (by default) without any mention thereof on their site means that I didn't get the order I wanted when most people would have expected it - After all, the order was paid for, etc. at 8AM their time, and it was not shipped until the PM the next day. Naturally, when I inquired about this at PLX, I got no apology - just a generic response stating that UPS orders will ship same day as long as they're placed before 4PM PST, while USPS orders always are shipped the next day.
on September 6, 2012
I didn't even drive my car to find out how bad the WiFi connection is.
It DID install very quickly as advertised. You just plug it into your OBD II port, and add it as a WiFi connection. Answer a few questions, calibrate it in a fixed position, and you're ready to go...... To the AppStore, where you can find the 3 apps it'll support. Be prepared to drop another $100 if you want to see gauges or any functionality. One app has a free lite version, and you get what you pay for, nothing. Dash Command, the main app is $50.
So if you really want to see a pretty display on your iPhone (assuming you won't be making calls or doing anything else, like playing music) and you're ready to drop a chunk of change, maybe this for you. You'll at least get to the stage of cursing the connection.
Otherwise, go out and buy a ScanGauge or other OBD plugin monitor and save your money for something worthwhile. It only took 15 minutes to unpack it, set it up, and repack it for return.
Not even worth the 1 star I had to give it. I like toys, even expensive toys, but only a moron would buy this and keep it. If you have that much money that it doesn't matter, give $250 to No Kid Hungry, and help end childhood poverty. You'll be happier that your $$$ did something useful.
EXTREMELY DISSATISFIED WITH THIS PURCHASE.
on January 9, 2010
If you just want to fool around with your iPod Touch or iPhone as a dash-mounted instrument, or if you want to understand your vehicle performance, or if you want to learn about OBD2 or if you want to develop more cool apps for this device. It is great fun tool to have in you gadget kit bag.
Rev, Dash Command and FuzzyCar are very cool companion apps to get from AppStore.
The device uses the ELM327 chipset and simply opens it up as a TCP port, so you can use any of the various PC apps that support the ELM327 chip as well - e.g. rom Palmerperformance.
I've tried it on various vehicles and it hasn't failed. It does get a bit hot when it is active. It has a 802.11 peer-to-peer Wifi radio inside.
You may find that the OBD2 connector is a bit in the way as it is on my Honda Ridgeline. You need make sure that you run the cable where it won't tangle or interfere with you feet, accell and break pedals. Make sure you cable tie it down neatly.
on March 21, 2014
I bought this in 2012 (through Amazon) and had good luck initially with it. I was datalogging using a few different apps on my iPhone (Dash Command, Log Works and Bosch Light 'Em Up). From the very beginning it was pretty fussy about connecting with my phone, and I would have to rescan multiple times to finally get a reliable WiFi connection. Over time it got worse and worse until eventually is wouldn't connect at all. It was also incompatible with the OBD-II splitter that I experimented with... since I wanted to do datalogging as well as keep my ValentineONE SAAVY connected and functional. Never could get that setup to work at all, and blamed it on the splitter.... I just bought the Innovate Motorsports OT-2 WiFi to replace this (also from Amazon.com) and it works much better. The WiFi connection is established immediately and it even works with the OBD-II splitter that I'd originally hoped to use.
Final word of warning: If you do some searching on Google you will find numerous complaints about the build quality of the PLX WiFi... most of them stemming from the assembly of the strain-relief of the cable where it enters the device. The strain relief does not properly fit the case, and it appears that their manufacturing process requires them to manually trim the plastic with a knife to get it to fit properly. In many cases they cut too deeply and can cut into the wires, causing intermittent connections or no connection at all. I believe this is what ended up happening to mine. Unfortunately, the case is glued together in a way that makes it virtually impossible to open without destroying the product....
Honestly, you'd be better served to just but a different WiFi adapter from the start (like the Innovate Motorsports OT-2) and avoid the aggravation completely.
on June 25, 2012
I absolutely loved the ease of use of this device.
Once set up, iPhone connects instantly, with no obvious delay in data updates.
However, once you are on public road, the connection is choppy at best.
I figured now there are so many wi-fi spots around town, the signal from little Wi-Fi base station in KIWI WiFi gets jammed with those scattered around.
Connection randomly drops and barely usable.
So, if you are gonna use it on some remote place where there are no other Wi-Fi stations to jam yours, KIWI probably works perfectly.
If you are planning on using it on the move, around civilization, you are best sticking to a cabled solution, or a close range radiowave solution like Bluetooth.
My rating is solely based on my disappointment on the move. If I had known I'd not have purchased it.
I'll give it 4 Stars if my car was never to leave garage, like you are a mechanic diagnosing many cars. Wireless will certainly be handy.
on January 11, 2014
A very handy tool for car enthusiasts or for a regular Joe.
With this I monitor my car's diagnostics, for ex: all monitors/sensors, Check Engine Lights, engine performance etc.
I love it when I get a check engine light and can tell what the code is, so this way I can avoid that expensive trip to the dealer ship or mechanic shop where they have a tendency to charge you for services that you didn't really need. One scenario- My car threw a CEL, but it drove fine no issues mechaniclly or driveability wise. I checked the description of the CEL (thanks to the PLX Device) and found out that it was just a sensor "going bad". Upon further inspection of the said sensor, the real problem was that it was just a little loose. Tightened it back up, reset the CEL and never had that issue again.
SO I DEFINITELY RECOMMEND THIS PRODUCT!
on April 14, 2012
Works as described has limited programs that are compatible. I am using dash command on a iPhone 3GS no sim just an iPod drops connection kinda regularly. UI is kinda awkward unit needs a auto off feature you are forced to use the switch and that is also in a bad spot to close to the cord.
Overall when you get past the small things it does work and some of my issues may be the phone speed and jumping to a stronger wifi signal. There may be cheaper that do the same but I did not give them a chance.
on March 23, 2011
This application is not compatible with most European cars before 2001; despite saying compatible with 1996+. Also, definitely not compatible with VW, AUDI, and PORSCHE.
Would not recommend if you have any of these cars!
on October 15, 2012
The main purpose of the product for me was an alternative to the usual OBD-2 readers. I mainly use the app Dash Command on my iPad because the developers update it regularly. I don't use the data monitering much, just the diagnostic part to read and reset codes when I am working on vehicles so I can only vouce for that part of it. Overall this product does exactly what I needed it for.